As a student, I’m constantly on the go and often am in need of a quick, nutritious way of refuelling after a long day out. At home, with access to a fully stocked fridge, I could think of hundreds of meals that fit the bill, but in Cambridge, long life foods take centre stage (ain’t nobody got time for food shopping every day!). With this in mind, here are some ideas for when there’s nothing in the fridge but you still want to eat well. Stock up on the list below, and you’ll never go hungry again!
- tinned soups
- tinned beans, chickpeas etc
- tinned sweetcorn
- baked beans
- hummus (tends to last at least 10 days before opening)
- sweet potatoes
- microwave brown rice
1) Sweet potato with hummus and sweetcorn
I eat this for dinner at least four times a week – it’s the best! Hummus and sweetcorn is a healthy, vegan alternative to tuna mayo with sweetcorn, and is so tasty that I sometimes eat it sans sweet potato! For the full meal: wash and dry the potato, then poke with a fork, drizzle with oil and microwave until soft (usually 10mins). Mix one can of sweetcorn with a big dollop of hummus and use it to top the potato. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and seeds for an extra kick.
2) Carrot balsamic salad
One problem with salads is lettuce: it goes soggy and nasty pretty damn quick. Bring in the grated carrot salad! This actually tastes better with time, as the carrot gets the chance to absorb the dressing! Peel and grate two large carrots, dress with olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar and leave to sit for 10 mins or so. Then add in half a can of chickpeas, whatever fresh veggies you have in, plus some nuts and dried fruit for an interesting texture and voila – a super cheap and healthy meal in under 5 minutes.
3) Sub 10 minute stir fry
If you keep a jar of good quality stir fry sauce in your fridge and onions in your cupboards, stir fries can be whipped up with almost any veggie in no time at all. Check my recipe here for inspiration.
4) Soup and hummus on double toasted rye
Don’t turn your nose up at canned soups – they’re cheap, filling and surprisingly healthy! I’m a fan of Sainbury’s ‘Be Good to Yourself’ range (my fave is the Three Bean and Tomato one). Rye bread is great too – it lasts longer than normal bread and is much better for you. But here’s my secret….double toast it! Seriously, toast it once, then toast again (keeping a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn) before spreading on your hummus. The texture and aroma improves SO much! You must try it!
5) Egg pots with soldiers
An upgrade on the student classic: beans on toast. Cut a couple of cherry tomatoes into small pieces, put in a mug and microwave for 30s. Add half a can of baked beans, stir and heat through. Once hot, crack an egg on top and microwave until egg is cooked. Place atop a piece of really great wholemeal toast for the perfect 5 minute comfort meal. Yum